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Cocona are round to elongated fruits ranging from 2.5 to 10 centimeters long and up to 6 centimeters wide. Immature fruits are green and covered in soft, spiky hairs. They have a persistent calyx around the stem. The skin becomes smooth as they mature and turns golden yellow, orange, red, or purple-red. Beneath is a layer of cream-colored flesh surrounding a yellow, jelly-like pulp with tiny, edible seeds. Cocona offer a creamy texture with a semi-sweet, sour flavor.
Cocona fruits are available in the fall and winter months.
Cocona is a South American fruit botanically classified as Solanum sessiliflorum. It is a distant relative of the tomato and eggplant and is closely related to another Andean fruit, the naranjilla or lulo. In the Amazon rainforest, it is known as Topiro or Tupiru by the native peoples of the upper Orinoco River, and is sometimes called the Orinoco apple. In Manaus, in the State of Amazonas, Brazil, they are known as Cubiyú. Entirely edible, the Cocona is a favorite fruit in Peru, where it is popular for its juice.
Coconas are a source of carbohydrates and is rich in vitamins A and C. They contain phosphorus and calcium as well as small amounts of fiber, protein, iron, thiamine, and niacin. They contain tannins, carotene, and high levels of citric acid.
Cocona fruit is used both raw and cooked. It is most often juiced and added to sweet juice blends for an acidic kick. The fruits are cooked and blended for spicy sauces, desserts, ice pops or paletas, and ice cream. Pair with other tropical fruits like mango, passionfruit, or soursop. They are diced up and tossed with cilantro, aji charapita, and salt, and used as a relish for regional dishes like Peruvian yuca empanadas. They can be added to salads or cooked like a vegetable alongside meats or fish. Its high citric acid content lends well to fruit preserves, jellies, and pies. Store Cocona in the refrigerator for up to a week.
There are a lot of varieties of Cocona throughout the Andes and western Amazon. Wild varieties in Colombia and Ecuador retain their spines and are typically smaller. The larger Cocona fruits are used for culinary purposes because they have fewer seeds and are generally sweeter. Cocona have been consumed for thousands of years in the Amazon and were used for medicinal purposes, like ridding the scalp of lice or treating burns, anemia and issues related to the urinary system.
Cocona are native to the western Amazon rainforest, in an area that includes parts of Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Columbia and Venezuela. The centuries old fruit is sometimes confused with the lulo, or naranjilla, and in some parts of South America, the names are used synonymously. Natural crosses between the two species of Solanum have resulted in hybrid fruits in some areas of Peru, making identification a challenge. Cocona have been grown in Florida and other parts of North America, though they may not produce fruit due to cooler temperatures. They can be found throughout the western and northern Amazon, on the island of Trinidad and Tobago and in Costa Rica. They are most likely spotted at jungle markets in Amazonian Peru, Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela.
Recipes that include Cocona. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Delfin Amazon Cruses||Doncella Fish Ceviche Bathed in Cocona Sauce with Crispy Ginger and Fried Macambo Nuts|
|Munchies||Grilled Jumbo Shrimp in Banana Leaves|
People have shared Cocona using the Specialty Produce app for iPhone and Android.
Produce Sharing allows you to share your produce discoveries with your neighbors and the world! Is your market carrying green dragon apples? Is a chef doing things with shaved fennel that are out of this world? Pinpoint your location annonymously through the Specialty Produce App and let others know about unique flavors that are around them.
Mercado Mayorista de Frutas number 2
Mercado mayorista de frutasNear La Victoria, Lima Region, Peru
Avenue Arriola La Victoria
About 438 days ago, 6/03/19
Sharer's comments : Cocona is from the jungle a bit acidic
Metro SupermarketNear Santiago de Surco, Cuzco, Peru
Calle Schell 250, Miraflores 15074
About 441 days ago, 5/31/19
Sharer's comments : Cocona are indigenous to South America and exported to other countries
Wong’s SupermarketNear Santiago de Surco, Cuzco, Peru
Milflores Lima Peru
About 442 days ago, 5/30/19
Sharer's comments : Popular fruit in Peru now exported to Europe